Today’s news:

Photography on the fringes

for The Brooklyn Paper

Broken-down industrial structures might detract most people, but for photographers with a sense of adventure, they can be ideal spots for urban exploration and inspiration.

Take Park Slope-based photographer Nathan Kensinger, who prefers to shoot in abandoned buildings to find exclusive snapshots and edge out competitors.

“The same people have taken the same pictures — the same bridge, the same dead-end street,” said Kensinger, who’ll show off his photos next week in Downtown Brooklyn. “It’s rare to find a place that no one else has documented.”

One such place is “The Batcave,” a squatter house along the Gowanus Canal, which he photographed in 2007. The inhabitants of the Batcave originally lived in a communal style, said Kensinger, but the building’s owners evicted them once drug use and violence became common in the illegal residence. Kensinger wasn’t deterred, as he and a group of photographers sneaked past the guard and documented the impromptu bedrooms, shanties and remnants of a bike shop within the building.

Curiosity has also driven him to infiltrate other “mysterious” industrial buildings and neighborhoods throughout the borough, including “The Hole,” a neighborhood of abandoned houses near Howard Beach. The border town got its name because it’s sunken into the ground, said Kensinger, and is prone to flooding.

“There are boats in the front yards,” he said. Reportedly used a mob dumping ground, more than a few bodies are suspected as well.

Other off-the-beaten-path locations Kensinger has captured include the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the Fresh Kills landfill.

Nathan Kensinger’s photos and lecture, Metropolitan Exchange [33 Flatbush Avenue Ext. between Nevins and Livingston streets in Downtown, (718) 643-7361], March 30, 6:30 pm. For info, visit metropolitanexchange.org. His work also can be seen in “The Gentrification of Brooklyn” show at MoCADA [80 Hanson Pl. at S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 230-0952] through May 16.

— Tony Cella

Pin It
Print this story Permalink

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Links